NORTH Vancouver resident Sarah Shandl has launched a campaign that she hopes will change the way people give to charity.
"Right now the trend is to basically give when asked, either through a nice marketing campaign that a non-profit does, or by someone doing a charitable fundraiser, or a run or (growing a moustache), or something like that," says Sarah Shandl, 28. "You're giving because someone, usually a friend of yours, is asking you for your support. It's more a pull on the heartstrings. You give whatever's in your pocket or whatever you can give at that time and you don't really think much more about it."
To make giving more of a habit, as well as to encourage people to put some thought into how much they're donating and which charities and causes they're interested in supporting, she recently launched the One Year One Percent campaign and is asking donors to commit to giving one per cent of their annual income to charity over the course of a year.
"I've always loved working in the music industry but have just as strong of a passion for doing acts that will make a lasting impact in my community and the world around us," says Shandl, who works at John Donnelly & Associates, an event production and marketing company. She's undertaken a number of grassroots projects, for example, Vancouver, we love you (the T-shirt project). Supporters purchase a campaign T-shirt,
snap a photo of themselves wearing it in their favourite Vancouver location and submit the picture and a story to the project website (vancouverweloveyou.com). Proceeds from the initiative, which is in its third year, support Covenant House Vancouver.
Shandl decided to launch the One Year One Percent campaign after a chance meeting at We Day - Vancouver. She connected with Jeff Golby of Vancouver-based Chimp, an online giving platform created to manage charitable donations on behalf of an individual, group or organization. "It triggered an idea that I'd had a while ago," says Shandl.
Realizing Chimp would make a "perfect partner" as it's a "great tool," she and Golby decided to team up and launched the One Year One Percent campaign in January, seeing participants commit to having whatever amount they choose pulled from their credit card as often as they like, and put into their Chimp Fund, a personal bank account for charity. At any point, they can send the funds to any charity in Canada.
Donors can give to as many charities as they like and will receive one tax receipt for all the year's donations. There is no charge to participate in the campaign and Shandl doesn't make any money from people signing up to take the one per cent challenge. Chimp charges one per cent, which goes toward building its site and maintaining its services, and recovers processing fees required to move donors' money.
"There's no alternative motive, it's not a marketing campaign, it's not anything more than just trying to get people to think a little bit more about how they currently give to charity and how they might want to change that and have a bit more structure to it," says Shandl.
The initiative is intended for people of all ages, but she hopes those in their 20s and 30s will get involved as now that they're starting their careers, they can begin budgeting in charitable giving right off the bat.
Shandl currently gives 10 per cent of her earnings to charity. "I just want to encourage other people to look at themselves," she says. "We live in one of the best places in the entire world and have been given so much and so often times we spend our money without really thinking about it and we buy lattes every day and we buy concert tickets and don't think twice about it. Whereas maybe it's saying no to one coffee a week or one movie out a month and using that money to make a difference in our own communities and Canada and the world."
The One Year One Percent campaign is ongoing and people can sign up and commit to giving for a year at any point in the future.
For more information, visit oneyearonepercent.com.